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Sunday, October 30, 2016

"The Attitude of Gratitude" by Kip Harms



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THE ATTITUDE OF GRATITUDE



WHAT CAUSES YOU TO BE GRATEFUL!!??????
            Q:  WHAT CAUSES INGRATITUDE!!!!

Slide:
Luke 18:9-14
9 To some who were confident of their own righteousness and looked down on everybody else, Jesus told this parable: 10 "Two men went up to the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. 11 The Pharisee stood up and prayed about himself: 'God, I thank you that I am not like other men--robbers, evildoers, adulterers--or even like this tax collector. 12 I fast twice a week and give a tenth of all I get.'
     
13 "But the tax collector stood at a distance. He would not even look up to heaven, but beat his breast and said, 'God, have mercy on me, a sinner.'
     
14 "I tell you that this man, rather than the other, went home justified before God. For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted."

Q: Who is Jesus Highlighting?

Comfort in Routine:


1) GRATITUDE IS A LORDSHIP ISSUE!


Q: Who was Lord for the Pharisee?
Slide:
Luke 18:11-12
11 The Pharisee stood up and prayed about himself: 'God, I thank you that I am not like other men--robbers, evildoers, adulterers--or even like this tax collector. 12 I fast twice a week and give a tenth of all I get.'

Q: Who is the Pharisee focused on for his Salvation???

Q: Was Jesus the lord?
Q: Is Jesus Truly the Lord of Your Life1
Q: How do you know if Jesus us is Lord of Your life?
·        Ask your Children?
·        Ask your family?
·        Ask the People you work with?
VIDEO: Onetimeblind  “The Stool”

1)   GRATITUDE COMES THROUGH PERSPECTIVE:
  Q: Why did this Tax Collector Respond??

Luke 8:13
13 "But the tax collector stood at a distance. He would not even look up to heaven, but beat his breast and said, 'God, have mercy on me, a sinner.'


Pt: Look at the Tax Collectors perspective of himself!


·    Example: of People that seem to be greatful!
§  Joe and Esther Lotenero:
§  Renea and Evalyn Erum
§   


Pt: I think we can take the people we live most for granted!
          Pt: We can look at their flaws and diminish who they really are!

Q: WHAT STOPS US (YOU) FROM BEING GRATEFUL?
·       Thinking I am a victim.
·       False sense of who we are! Decieved.
o  We Deserve(entitled)
o   
·       Blaming others!
·       Self Rightous!
·        

Q: Are you grateful for what you have:

Who are you Grateful for:
·       Beth: As a wife and Mother…..etc….
·       Taylor: Taylor you are a unique gift: thoughtful, kind,
·       Gabe:  
·       Molly.

   I am grateful for the family of believers!
         


2)   TRUE GRATITUDE SHOULD BE EXPRESSED:
         
          Pt: Express Gratitude
Luke 18:13 (NIV2011)
13  “But the tax collector stood at a distance. He would not even look up to heaven, but beat his breast and said, ‘God, have mercy on me, a sinner.’
Pt: The Tax Collector expressed Gratitude toward Jesus! 
Pt: The Tax Collector proclaimed his need for God!

Q: How grateful am I to God?
          Q: Do I take God for Granted?
Q: How grateful am I to Others in my life?
          Q: Do I take others for Granted?


VIDEO: Son on his mothers death bed!!!!

Pt: Don’t put off expressing gratitude!!!




3) GRATITUDE IS A DIRECT REFLECTION OF THE HEART!!

PT: Gratitude comes from inside:
Immune Booster
Grateful people tend to be more optimistic, a characteristic that researchers say boosts the immune system. "There are some very interesting studies linking optimism to better immune function," says Lisa Aspinwall, PhD, a psychology professor at the University of Utah. In one, researchers comparing the immune systems of healthy, first-year law students under stress found that, by midterm, students characterized as optimistic (based on survey responses) maintained higher numbers of blood cells that protect the immune system, compared with their more pessimistic classmates.
Optimism also has a positive health impact on people with compromised health. In separate studies, patients confronting AIDS, as well as those preparing to undergo surgery, had better health outcomes when they maintained attitudes of optimism.

                   Pt: Optimism and Gratitude are linked!


FORBES STUDY ON GRATITUDE:
In fact, gratitude may be one of the most overlooked tools that we all have access to every day. Cultivating gratitude doesn’t cost any money and it certainly doesn’t take much time, but the benefits are enormous. Research reveals gratitude can have these seven benefits:
1. Gratitude opens the door to more relationships. 
2. Gratitude improves physical health.
3. Gratitude improves psychological health.
4. Gratitude enhances empathy and reduces aggression.
5. Grateful people sleep better.
6. Gratitude improves self-esteem. 
7. Gratitude increases mental strength.


Slide:
Luke 18:14 (NIV2011)
14  “I tell you that this man, rather than the other, went home justified before God. For all those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.”


Q: What are you grateful For?
Q: Who are you grateful For?

1)   Gratitude comes through perspective!
2)   Gratitude should be Expressed!

3)   Gratitude is a direct reflection of the Heart!

Sunday, October 23, 2016

"Rise" by Sergio Arguello





Rise by Sergio Arguello

God can make the dead rise again.

The three major prophets (Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel) and then Zephaniah all have the same basic sequence of messages: (1) judgment against Israel, (2) judgment against the nations, (3) restoration for Israel. In no other book is this pattern clearer than in Ezekiel.

Through these prophets’ and Ezekiel’s writings we see in Israel and God’s people, something common to us all: the fall of man due to their attraction to sin and their unfaithfulness to God along with the destruction and pain that come from that, then later we see the promise of restoration from God to those that are willing to turn back to Him.  In and because of His great love and power we are able to Rise again.

We all fall, but only those who seek God with all their hearts will Rise, and this not of their own desire but through the mercy that only comes from God.

We will be studying out Ezekiel 37 today, but before we get started there I want to give you a little background on a handful of chapters leading up to it.

First, the Babylonians had taken Ezekiel along King Jehoiachin and another 10,000 Jews into exile, ending the reign of the Davidic Kingdom (597BC).  It would not be long (about 11 years) before Ezekiel would receive news that Jerusalem had fallen and the Temple had been destroyed and to help him understand how that pained God, Ezekiel’s wife would die.

The reality is that God is free to judge, and he is equally free to be gracious. His stern judgments on Israel ultimately reflect his grace. He allows the total dismemberment of Israel’s political and religious life so that her renewed life and his presence with her will be clearly seen as a gift from the Lord.  It’s the same with us, God humbles us so we can turn to Him and in return we receive spiritual blessings and eternal life.

Ezekiel 30—Prophesy of the downfall of Egypt at the hands of the Babylonians

Ezekiel 31 & 32—Condemnation for Pharaoh and Egypt

Ezekiel 33—Renewal of Ezekiel’s call as a watchman—those who were once righteous but are not righteous anymore will not be credited for their past righteousness and those who were sinful and yet are sinful no more, will not be judged according to their past disobedience.

Ezekiel 33:12-16
12 “Therefore, son of man, say to your people, ‘If someone who is righteous disobeys, that person’s former righteousness will count for nothing. And if someone who is wicked repents, that person’s former wickedness will not bring condemnation. The righteous person who sins will not be allowed to live even though they were formerly righteous.’ 13 If I tell a righteous person that they will surely live, but then they trust in their righteousness and do evil, none of the righteous things that person has done will be remembered; they will die for the evil they have done. 14 And if I say to a wicked person, ‘You will surely die,’ but they then turn away from their sin and do what is just and right— 15 if they give back what they took in pledge for a loan, return what they have stolen, follow the decrees that give life, and do no evil—that person will surely live; they will not die. 16 None of the sins that person has committed will be remembered against them. They have done what is just and right; they will surely live.

Ezekiel 33—Jerusalem’s fall explained (though they were God’s people they disobeyed and God disciplined them).  Reminding Ezekiel of what they did to end up where they were.

Ezekiel 34—Ezekiel prophesies against Israel’s shepherds for not taking care of the flock by loving them, preaching truthfully to them, helping them, and teaching them to live Godly lives.  They simply taught them to be religious.  They only cared for themselves.
Ezekiel prophesies of the kingdom to come and of the Messiah / King / Priest / Shepherd which God will use to lead God’s people and establish His “spiritual kingdom”, the “Messianic Kingdom” whose glory would be greater than that of the Davidic Kingdom.

Ezekiel 35—The Edomites (representing anyone who would show any malice towards God’s people) would be repaid for their wrong by God.  This is also a prophesy for anyone who may oppose God’s church.

Ezekiel 36—Hope and promise of restoration for Israel (and for sinners who repent)

Ezekiel 37—The Valley of Dry Bones


1.  I See Dead People


Ezekiel 37:1-14
The Valley of Dry Bones
1The hand of the Lord was on me, and he brought me out by the Spirit of the Lord and set me in the middle of a valley; it was full of bones. 2 He led me back and forth among them, and I saw a great many bones on the floor of the valley, bones that were very dry. 3 He asked me, “Son of man, can these bones live?”
I said, “Sovereign Lord, you alone know.”

Show video clip from “Sixth Sense”

This is a troubling disorder

Christians are prophets sent to the dead.

·       Dead People don’t know they are dead
·       They walk around like they are alive
·       They’re everywhere
·       They only see what they want to see
·       Dead people hang out together but don’t really see each other (shallow).

Face The Facts 
Right now you are either:
1. Spiritually Dead
2. Led by God to see dead people.

·       STRONG:
If you have been led to see dead people it should trouble you.

·       STRONGER:
The fact that people are destined for eternal damnation should be a burden every true Christian here and everywhere else carries with them on this earth,

·       MAJORLY EMPHASIZE:
If this is not a burden that’s heavily upon your heart by God, then you’ve got to question if maybe you are not among the dead yourself!

CALMLY:
·       We are surrounded by dead people and it is easy to get used to the stench of death.  We can get used to the sin of the world around us and it doesn’t even phase us anymore.

·       Things that the dead are caught up in:
--Sexual sin and impurity / pornography
--Critical spirited
--Pursuing wealth / career / fame / success
--People that are Godless altogether (especially on campuses and jobsites)

·       That stench often gets on us and we don’t even realize it.  We start thinking it’s ok to participate with those around us in sin.  Sometimes we even accept it in other Christians by the mere fact that we avoid addressing the deadness we see because we hate confrontation or simply are apathetic.

·       We as Christians can start dying by:
-Not clearly recognizing the dead (blurring lines of who’s a Christian and who’s not)
-Not seeking first the Kingdom of God
-Not immersing ourselves in God’s word and
 prayer
-Having a critical attitude towards other
         Christians

·       The million dollar question posed to us by God is, can these dry bones live?

1.  In regards to non-Christians:
     Can they be saved?

2.  In regards to apathetic Christians or Christians
     entangled in sin:
     Can they be made holy again?


·       The Answer:  YES!!!
        With God anything is possible!

2.  Preaching The Word: Spiritual CPR


If you are a Christian, you have been called as a prophet to preach to the dead.  It’s a high calling.  It’s not a title, but a calling that demands action.  It’s tiring, but it’s rewarding.

·       You do not get to preach to the best or most receptive audience, but you do get to see the most incredible miracles


Then he said to me, “Prophesy to these bones and say to them, ‘Dry bones, hear the word of the Lord! (craziness) 5 This is what the Sovereign Lord says to these bones: I will make breath[a] enter you, and you will come to life. 6 I will attach tendons to you and make flesh come upon you and cover you with skin; I will put breath in you, and you will come to life. Then you will know that I am the Lord.’”

So I prophesied as I was commanded

God has called you to preach even when things don’t make sense—God’s ways are greater than your ways, stop thinking you can outthink God or that your reasoning is better. Jonah ran and God humbled him, Judas killed himself because he looked out for himself, Peter messed up but then humbled out and he was a man about his mission.

·       Obey God’s Word & preach even when it is crazy to do so.
·       God’s word will not come back empty
·       It’s so powerful that it can impact even the most lifeless heart or darkest soul
·       Expose yourself to God’s word, worse thing to do when feeling hard-hearted is to not come to church or not read the Bible
·       Expose your heart to the word, it is life changing


And as I was prophesying, there was a noise, a rattling sound, and the bones came together, bone to bone. 8 I looked, and tendons and flesh appeared on them and skin covered them, but there was no breath in them.

When you expose yourself to the Word, and God’s people, it will bring about change—people change in many ways when they attend church and hear God’s word.

Walking dead
Pieced Together But Not Quite Right
Sometimes, like the Israelites, religiosity is the outcome of hearing God’s Word incompletely or not fully getting it(walkinging dead people are created—like weekend at Bernies). 
That happens when you are only filling yourself with knowledge and focusing on an outward appearance.

Christians that go around with unconfessed sin in their heart—you are like the walking dead.  You are standing, but everyone including yourself know something is not quite right with you.

Many spiritually dead people are religious.  We see examples all the time.

Some of you are on the verge of making the best or worse decision of your life.  You are hearing the message preached to you, you are receiving spiritual CPR and if you don’t quite get it you can end up religious (spiritually dead yet having a semblance of a Christian) or if you really go after God with all of your heart, soaking up the Word that brings life, RISING to a new life that is filled with purpose and promise.

3.  Rise! You, Vast Army


Inspiring!

Then he said to me, “Prophesy to the breath; prophesy, son of man, and say to it, ‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says: Come, breath, from the four winds and breathe into these slain, that they may live.’” 10 So I prophesied as he commanded me, and breath entered them; they came to life and stood up on their feet—a vast army.

Only when we allow ourselves to come in contact with God’s Spirit can we truly Rise and live as God intends us to).  At that point in time not only do we rise as individuals who serve God, but as a powerful army which no dark forces can defeat.

I believe we all deeply desire to be part of God’s vast army, but it takes a humility and surrender like no other.

WILL YOU SURRENDER AND WILL YOU BE HUMBLE SO GOD CAN BREATHE LIFE INTO YOUR DEAD SOUL?

·       When we allow God to breathe life into us us we will rise surrendered to:
--Seek first His Kingdom and leave behind the
   pursuit of career, money, success, etc
--Feel great about giving God control of your
   future, finances and family.
--Surrender our schedule and time to do His will
   until our dying day with an unexplainable joy.

·       When we rise as God’s army in humility:
--We consider each other and speak truthfully to
   one another in love.
--We are present physically, emotionally, and
   spiritually to love one another as God called us
   to.
--We confess even our thoughts to make them
   obedient to Christ and we are transparent with
   our lives.
--We allow others to lead us, correct us and teach
   us (discipling) so we can an even more effective
   army for God. 

This is a vision of hope from our loving God.  His hope is for us to be united in eternity one day and while here united in the battle for souls.


The vision explained to Ezekiel:


11 Then he said to me: “Son of man, these bones are the people of Israel. They say, ‘Our bones are dried up and our hope is gone; we are cut off.’ 12 Therefore prophesy and say to them: ‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says: My people, I am going to open your graves and bring you up from them; I will bring you back to the land of Israel. 13 Then you, my people, will know that I am the Lord, when I open your graves and bring you up from them. 14 I will put my Spirit in you and you will live, and I will settle you in your own land. Then you will know that I the Lord have spoken, and I have done it, declares the Lord.’”

Sunday, October 9, 2016

"The Cost of Unity" by Kip Harms

THE COST OF UNITY
The Apostles




It has been great to get to Know People

SLIDE:
“United We Stand”

Q: What is the Cost to Being unified with Jesus??
          Pt: The Apostles understood this all too well!
          Pt: They saw people come and people go!

SLIDE:
Proverbs 9:10 (NIV2011)
10  The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom, and knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.

Hebrew Word: yir-aw'=  (yare'); fear (also used as infinitive); moral reverence :- × dreadful, × exceedingly, fear (-fulness).
                                                          Strong's Talking Greek & Hebrew Dictionary.
Pt: We live in a Society that lacks a fear of God:
·        Reverence
·        Understanding of God’s Authority!

Pt : We live in a world of appearances!

SLIDE:  
                   Video: The Appearance of Christianity!!

Pt: imagine: the Apostles saw everything??
       Pt: They saw the issues clearly

SLIDE:
   Jn 6;
          The crowd starts to follow Jesus.

Pt; In the first part of the Chapter (paint picture)  Things were good!!!
·       Jesus Feeds the Five Thousand.  (Paint)
·        Walks on water. That's kind of cool.  (Only the 12 saw this)
·          
·          
SLIDE:
MAP:  The Mountains South of Bethsaida:  Capernaum

Vs; 22-24  Pt; after Jesus feeds the five thousand: They were trying to follow Jesus.
SLIDE:
John 6:25-29
25 When they found him on the other side of the lake, they asked him, Rabbi, when did you get here?26 Jesus answered, Very truly I tell you, you are looking for me, not because you saw the signs I performed but because you ate the loaves and had your fill. 27 Do not work for food that spoils, but for food that endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give you. For on him God the Father has placed his seal of approval.28 Then they asked him, What must we do to do the works God requires? 29 Jesus answered, The work of God is this: to believe in the one he has sent.

 Pt;"The Work of God is this" To believe in the one he has sent”

Pt: Jesus has done miracle after miracle but they were not satisfied.
·        Jesus Feeds the Five Thousand people with Five loaves and 2 fish
·        Jesus walks on water

          Pt: As painful as it may be God will give you what you need!

JOHN 6:32-59  JESUS tells them that he is the Bread of Life??  They did not like it!!

John 6:43 (NIV2011)
43  “Stop grumbling among yourselves,” Jesus answered.

                                                          Pt: They did not like what he said??
SLIDE:
Jn 6:60-71
John 6:60-69 (NIV2011)
60  On hearing it, many of his disciples said, “This is a hard teaching. Who can accept it?”
61  Aware that his disciples were grumbling about this, Jesus said to them, “Does this offend you? 62  Then what if you see the Son of Man ascend to where he was before! 63  The Spirit gives life; the flesh counts for nothing. The words I have spoken to you—they are full of the Spirit and life. 64  Yet there are some of you who do not believe.” For Jesus had known from the beginning which of them did not believe and who would betray him. 65  He went on to say, “This is why I told you that no one can come to me unless the Father has enabled them.” 66  From this time many of his disciples turned back and no longer followed him. 67  “You do not want to leave too, do you?” Jesus asked the Twelve. 68  Simon Peter answered him, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life. 69  We have come to believe and to know that you are the Holy One of God.”

The cost of Unity with God:
1)   TO HEAR WHAT GOD WANTS YOU TO HEAR:

Q: WHAT HAPPENS WHEN SOMEONE SAYS SOMETHING YOU DON’T WANT TO HEAR?

Pt: We like Drive through Christianity!!!!!

Pt:  Use this video:  Hold the pickles hold the lettuce Special orders don’t upset us!
          Ex: “You can’t always get what you want! But if you try real hard you just                            might find what you need”!
          VIDEO: Have it your way at burger King!!!!

SLIDE:
Q: What are things we Hate to Hear or See about ourselves!
Things You Hate to Hear!!!
·       No
·       Your Loan is not approved
·       Criticism
·       Sometimes the Truth?
·       You are a bad driver
·        
·        
·         SLIDE:
·       That we are Fat!
·        
Q: The Question is?
-Are you willing to hear What God wants you to hear???

Q:  HOW DO YOU RESPOND WHEN SOMEONE SAYS SOMETHING YOU DON’T WANT TO HEAR!
Q: HOW DO YOU KNOW IF YOU ARE BEING PRIDEFUL?
Q: HOW DO YOU KNOW IF YOU ARE BEING DEFENSIVE?

SHARE: IN COLLEGE:  HUDGE TURNING POINT FOR ME!
ONE OF THE GUYS WAS TRYING TO SHOW ME I WAS BEING PRIDEFUL:
Pt: He thought I never get advice and that I acted like I was always right!
Q: YOU KNOW WHAT I TOLD HIM?
          PT: I TOLD HIM HE WAS BEING PRIDEFUL!
Pt: Classic blame the other guy!
PS 36:1-2
SLIDE:
Psalm 36:1-2 (NIV2011)
1  I have a message from God in my heart concerning the sinfulness of the wicked: There is no fear of God before their eyes. 2  In their own eyes they flatter themselves too much to detect or hate their sin.

PT: SINCE THEN: I have never struggled with pride again!
Pt: I am grateful to him for being willing to have that talk with me!
Pt: My Wife and Children are grateful
Test:  I have a Pride test!  It is 100% Accurate!
    Q: Do you want to take the Test!
Raise your Left Arm: Slightly:  Place: your right hand fingers just across the tendons and press slighty to feel your vien.

Pride Stops Us From Hearing God!!

Pt: We are not a good test on whether we are hearing God!


SLIDE:
John 6:67-69 (NIV2011)
67  “You do not want to leave too, do you?” Jesus asked the Twelve. 68  Simon Peter answered him, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life. 69  We have come to believe and to know that you are the Holy One of God.”
          TALK ABOUT THIS!
The Cost of Unity is Surrender: HUMILITY!!!

Examples:
          I WANT TO HOLD UP:
                   LOReNZO: This guy is awesome?? 
          I was talking to him a while back about what he is going to do when he graduates?
                             Pt: Zo has a simple faith.  HUMBLE HEART!!!!
   Pt: Talk about getting with a lot of different people and couples!
Jay Nelson: He doesn’t really see himself as a leader and yet when asked to help: He does!
   TONY: HAD AN OPPORTUNITY FOR A DOUBLE PROMOTION? IN COLORADO.


SLIDE:
James 1:22-25 (NIV2011)
22  Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says. 23  Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like someone who looks at his face in a mirror 24  and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like. 25  But whoever looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues in it—not forgetting what they have heard, but doing it—they will be blessed in what they do.


The Cost of Unity is Hear God!
The Cost of Unity is Hearing Truth!

The Cost of Unity is Surrender!